WARNING! Grossly coarse language- sexual violence.
Caleb pointed at his daughter before slamming the van’s front door. “Stay put!” he commanded from the van’s open rear door.
Still stunned from her violent fall and reaffirming thrust into the van’s cargo area, Marti began to move unsteadily from her supine, submissive position to one where she could protect herself. Caleb smiled when he saw her move, thrust a Doc Martin shod foot into her side, and demanded, “And what the hell do you think you’re doing, bitch?” as he reached beyond her for his scuffed and worn daypack.
“Otta have everything I need right here,” he said, dumping the pack’s contents on the floor of the van. The Nikon binoculars and Peterson Field Guide fell to the floor along with a blue nylon tarp, serrated edge hunting knife, a black nylon case for the knife, Ziploc bag with dryer lint, a squeeze tube of Vaseline, first aid kit, white Bic lighter, roll of duct-tape, twenty feet of nylon rope, a small, round, stainless steel ashtray, two MRE’s, a vial of iodine pills, water purifier and a dozen large zip-ties. Grabbing the duct-tape, Caleb jammed his knee into the small of Marti’s back and handcuffed her with the tape before wrapping her ankles in the same fashion and using the rope to hog-tie her hands and feet behind her back.
Rolling her to her side, Caleb brought his mouth next to her ear and whispered, “Who the fuck you think I am now, you little AMF? I got a kosher wiener with your name on it, Circle-K. You just wait,” he added, duct tapping her mouth shut before biting her earlobe hard.
Caleb rolled the van door shut and, after peering into the dark recesses of the bus depot, walked around to the driver’s side of the van and got behind the wheel. “Listen, baby,” he said to Skylar, turning the van on and backing out of the depot’s parking lot and heading east on Interlachen, “I’m right sorry about flinging you to the ground back there. Goldie here,” Caleb jerked his thumb toward the back of the van, “had me firing on all eight cylinders and when you slipped in under my radar my survival instincts kicked in. Buckle your seat belt,” he added. “Don’t want no trouble with no cops.
“I really am right sorry. I’m also right sorry you sent Goldie’s little girl away. That makes things a lot more difficult for us, but I don’t blame you, I blame your mama. I’m sure she ain’t been bringing you up right.
“Speaking of your mama,” Caleb said, flicking the van’s headlights on, “where the hell would she be and why you hanging out with these Hebes?”
“I don’t know where Mama is,” Skylar said to the floor. With head down she continued, “that’s where we just were, at Mama and my place. And why do you keep calling Marti Goldie? That’s not her name.”
“Marti?” Caleb scoffed. “Course she’d have something weird like a boy’s name. And whyn’t you call her Mrs. Epstein or Goldberg or whatever the little Jewess’ name is? Is that how your mama’s been bringing you up? To be disrespectful?”
“Her name’s Kohnen, not Goldberg or whatever you said. Marti said I could,” Skylar answered, eyes still averted. Looking up, she turned toward her father and asked, “Why did you hurt her and why did you hurt my friend Sara?”
“Kohnen, huh? That another Jew name?” Caleb asked, turning his head toward the back of the van. Returning his gaze to the road he declared, “Sarah sure as shit is. You gotta little Isaac, too?” he asked, again glancing over his right shoulder.
“Because little Miss Marti pants was threatening me, that’s why! And she was gonna take you away after I just found you again. What you want me to do? Just let her take you? No, sir!
“Your friend Sarah is trouble, girl. I truly wish you hadn’t told her to run cuz now I gotta figure out what to do next.
“Wait. Did you say you just come from yer mama’s place? By bicycle? So, it’s pretty close, I reckon?”
“Yes. I rode there for the first time! On Sara’s bike. You need to let Marti go and find Sara and take their bikes home. I bet she won’t yell at you anymore now.”
Caleb nodded and said, “I bet you’re right. But first, why own’t you show me where you and your mama live?”